I remember when he was just “Titty Boi” , a skinny southern rapper with one chain that sported his braids to the back and a single gold tooth. He was with Ludacris’s record label Disturbing tha Peace (D.T.P). The masses didn’t know who he was then. He was the underdog. I was excited when I got to see this underdog flip his image and style (without selling out) and make his way to the top. Not only did he rise to the top, he proved he had talent. I didn’t begin listening to his music until after he made his transition from “Titty Boi” to “2 Chainz”. The braids turned into long dreads and the sporty gear evolved into a more mature and tasteful, grown-man style.
He has come a long way since then. I never thought that he would end up having a career that has bloomed the way that it has. The first time I saw him was on MTV. Ludacris was introducing him as a member of D.T.P. I thought that he was an artist whose career wouldn’t grow past being a rapping member of the entourage. He and his close childhood friend “Dolla Boy” formulated the Atlanta-based Hip hop Group known as “Playaz Circle”. It was the late 90’s. Their music caught the attention of Hot 97.5 DJ Chris Lova lova (Ludacris). Chris was transitioning from radio DJ to artist/entrepreneur. He was impressed with the duo so much that he gave them a spot on his newly formed record label: D.T.P. Playaz circle released their first album ten years later in October of 2007. Both Dolla Boy and 2 Chainz had a lot going on in their lives within that ten-year gap. Dolla Boy was incarcerated and 2 Chainz had been shot. “Supply and Demand”, their 11 track album placed pretty well on the US music charts. Their featured song “Duffle Bag Boy” featuring little Wayne made its way to number 2 on the US rap charts. From 2007 to 2011 2 Chainz focused more-so on his craft as a solo artist. He consistently dropped mixtapes during this time period. Each tape was better than the last. He grew on every tape and failed to disappoint his listeners. What was refreshing about him was the fact that he allowed his silly personality to show in his music. He had a way of using his words that would make you laugh out loud and then say, “Dang, he’s silly but I feel him though.”
2 Chainz had the mixtape game on smash. More and more people were beginning to listen and respect his art. In those 5 years, he dropped 7 mixtapes: All Ice on me, Me against the World 1 and 2, Trap-A-Veli 1 and 2, Codeine Cowboy, and T.R.U REALigion. He earned our respect even more when he dropped the name “Tity boi” (controversial) for “2 Chainz”. I got into 2 Chainz when a friend of mines gave me a free copy of his Codeine Cowboy mixtape. It took me forever to finally give it a chance. When I did sit down and listened to the music I was more than impressed. I was borderline obsessed. I listened to that tape straight for a few months. After learning every nook and cranny of this tape, I began to ask, “Who is this dude really?” I had to find out how much music he had out? I went on a crazy downloading spree. I had a lot of catching up to do. I fell in love with a rhyme scheme. I was completely sold on him as an artist, and I wasn’t the only one. When he signed the $2,000,000 deal for Def Jam, people around my way were all excited for him. It was almost like, “we got signed” vs “he got signed”. The streets were heavy with anticipation. We wanted to hear what kind of music 2 Chainz was going to release on the album.
On August 14, 2012 “Based on a T.R.U story” the album was released to the masses. It was a big day for the rapper. The day marked a milestone. The fans got a chance to listen to the major label 2 Chainz. The album was okay for what it was despite high sales however, it was a disappointment to our ears. The album wasn’t a total flop… It just left us hanging. My thing is: How do you go from dropping a record like, “Letter to the Rap Game” to “Crack”. Dude, what the hell are you talking about, literally… “Crinack?!?!” I make this comparision: his Mixtapes were like real food but the album was like junkfood. Yes, everybody likes to pig out on junkfood for a bit but after awhile, you’re gonna start craving real food. Soooooo…. Now we’re lazy when it’s album time? I refuse to believe that major label politics had anything to do with this. The argument that rappers just don’t go hard after they have reached mainstream success is hypocrisy. In December of 2012 T.I released his Trouble man album and the streets are still talking about it and raving over the master piece that he brought to our ears. It will easily become the theme album of the Summer. T.I has been mainstream for years and he has consistently put out good music. What is 2 Chainz excuse for what he gave us? I was highly disappointed in what he presented but I still like him. I prefer his mixtapes over his album any day. Why am I calling out 2 Chainz? Why not call him out? I am an unsatisfied fan. As and artist, when you feed the people good music, it is your responsibility to keep cooking up more goodness. When you give us hot beats and bs after the goodness, your real followers feel cheated. I feel like he just really left me hanging on his studio project. Hopefully he steps it up on the next project. I will support simply because I don’t hate 2 Chainz, I challenge him to make the next album as great as his mixtapes.
This is the track that made say, “Oh yea, this man GOT IT”
Letter to the Rap Game from his final Mixtape “T.R.U REALigion